I woke up yesterday morning to a ping on my phone. “Happy 6th Intesti-versary!” I rolled over and went back to sleep with a smile on my face.
On April 4, 2011 I had surgery to remove my terminal ileum (part of the small intestine that attaches to the large intestine and absorbs vitamin B12), an abscess, and repair a fistula between my intestine and urinary tract (even thinking about it makes my body shrivel up in pain).
There have been some ups and downs over the past six years with my health, but I’ve managed to stay out of the hospital, am learning how to use diet to heal and prevent disease, and have become an active member of the IBD community.
Since starting my autoimmune diet last May I’ve been experiencing the best health I’ve had since the months following my surgery. Naturally, since things are going well, I’ve let my focus shift to the regular life problems being thrown my way: stressing over a potential crossroads in my career, wondering where I might be in five years personally and professionally, and the possibility of extraterrestrial life. You know, the usual…
In the midst of all my anxious fretting about life’s mysteries, that ping on my phone served as a reminder that all of the worries and stresses I have are because my health is in a place where I am able to take on challenges at work, make and spend time with friends, and dream for the future. Six years ago I was just trying to find the energy to get out of bed and make it to the bathroom or stand up in the shower. Now I’m lucky enough to have other problems to worry about while I experience the luxury of having my health under control.
Nothing like a reminder of the darkest days of crohn’s to put life’s other issues into perspective. I’m not a fan of the phrase “blessing in disguise,” but I won’t deny that the toughest things in life can make you grateful for the opportunity to keep on living — with the good and the bad.
Side note: The picture is of my delicious zoodle and meat sauce dinner (pre-meat sauce). Yum!